News from the Chattahoochee Fall Line Conservation Partnership (CFLCP)
By LuAnn Craighton, The Nature Conservancy – Georgia Chapter
The CFLCP is pleased to be a recipient of 2015 Longleaf Stewardship Funds. This funding will be used to accelerate and demonstrate longleaf conservation on more than 22,000 acres in west Georgia and east Alabama. Activities which will be implemented under the grant include: planting 1,500 acres of longleaf, enhancing over 20,000 acres with prescribed fire as well as other ecological treatments, and creating demonstration sites for landowners to showcase both the ecological and economic costs and benefits of longleaf forests. Outreach programs designed to motivate landowners to conservation action will be continued in Georgia and be expanded into the fall line of Alabama with support from this grant.
The CFLCP is collaborating with an ever expanding circle of partners to accomplish longleaf outreach activities in our region. Recently, we teamed up with The Columbus Museum, Trees Columbus, The Nature Conservancy, Chattahoochee RiverWarden, Coalition for Sound Growth, and the Chattahoochee Valley Land Trust to host Janisse Ray, award-winning writer, naturalist and author of "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" for a lecture entitled, “An Evening with Janisse Ray: Reflections on Longleaf Pine.”
Over 250 people packed the auditorium at The Columbus Museum, and Janisse inspired the diverse audience with readings and reflections on longleaf and the natural world. After her lecture, she signed books while the audience enjoyed a reception featuring locally sourced food. In addition to her lecture, we invited key stakeholders to meet her during a dinner at a local farm, planted longleaf on a school campus with student volunteers, and enjoyed a hike on the new Chattahoochee Fall Line Wildlife Management Area with local conservation staff and a small group of landowners. Working with multiple partners on this event allowed us to cross-market our longleaf message to new audiences both inside and outside the traditional conservation community. This program focused on building awareness of the longleaf story in our urban constituents who often have great influence over longleaf restoration activities in the more rural portions of our landscape.
Image 1: Janisse Ray signs books and chats with guests after her longleaf pine lecture at The Columbus Museum. Photo by D. Tipton.